Organisational Culture; Unit 4 Research Topic - Notes

Notes made from a combination of resources.

Covers Types of Culture, Influences on Culture, Impact of Culture, Reasons for a Change of Culture, Ways of Changing Culture and Problems with Chaning Culture.

This was my exams special research topic so had to studies in more detail than the book provided; this won't be the research topic again so this much detail won't be necessary, but knowing some of it will be useful

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Page 1

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Defining and Identifying Organisational Culture
Key Definitions:
"The way we do things around here"
"A set of norms, attitudes, beliefs and assumptions shared by members within an organisation, that
influence the way they perceive, think, feel and behave, and which give each organisation a
distinctive character"
Behaviour is learned pre-disposition…

Page 2

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Rousseau's 5 Layers:
A multi-layered model structured as rings "organised from readily accessible outer layers to difficult
to access inner layers
Readily Accessible:
o Visible signs of culture
o Artefacts
o Patterns of behaviour
Less Accessible
o Unobservable elements of culture
o Behavioural norms
o Values
o Fundamental assumptions


Page 3

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The set of assumptions held in common taken for granted by the firm
John and Scholes cultural web

Job titles
Film jargon

Power Structure:
Where power comes from
How they get the power

Organisational Structure:
Formal structures of authority
Less formal structures

Control Systems:
How important…

Page 4

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Harrison and Handy's 4 Culture Model:
Four quadrant model based on the twin axis of formulation and centralisation
Formulation: The extent to which the firm was written policies, rules, regulations, job descriptions
and standing orders
Centralisation: The extent to which the firm as a whole passes authority and responsibility for…

Page 5

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Low Centralisation / High Formalisation
Focus is solely on the individual
Organisational objectives may be defined by personal ambitions
Little of no over structure or system
Firms seldom has the power to evict the individual
Power and influence are be consent and shared
Individuals are valued for their skills, professionalism,…

Page 6

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Autocracy (Create) Culture):
External focus on differentiation / Flexibility and discretion
Innovative and pioneering initiatives
Developing new products / services are preparing for the future
Management is to foster entrepreneurship, creativity and activity on the cutting edge
Adaption and innovation lead to new resources and profitability
Effective leadership is `visionary,…

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Club Culture:
All about `fitting in' ­ very particularly recruitment
Promotion from within than values seniority
Regular appraisals

Fortress Culture:
Survival is important with a lack of job security
Redundancies are made with no consideration
Popular in firms operating in environments that are sensitive to changes in the economy


Page 8

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The stronger the culture, the greater the likelihood there is of members, accepting ideas from above
without question ­ a reluctance to challenge the status quo
Inhabit innovation

Weak Culture:
Does not possess an identifiable set of values and beliefs, or possesses them but fails to get them
widely shared…

Page 9

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Owners / Shareholders in a private sector firm are entitled to have a say and vote on important
matters, hence their opinions can influence the decision making
Influence of owners / shareholders will likely be stronger where the ownership is in the hands of a
small number

Philosophy of Senior…

Page 10

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Size and Geographical Spread of the Firm:
"Size of the firm has often proved to be one of the single most important variables in influencing
choice of structure or culture" (Handy)
Smaller firms can have a more `hands on' approach with its employees
As a firm grows it becomes difficult…


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